Green shows explosiveness, rust in debut

Playing in his first game since Oct. 23 of last season, Ahman Green rushed eight times in 19 plays.

Late in the first quarter of Monday night's 48-17 loss at Cincinnati, Ahman Green took a handoff from Brett Favre and exploded forward like he had been shot out of a cannon. If not for being tripped up by a lunging Bengals linebacker, Green might still be running.

The result: an 8-yard gain.

The bigger picture: Green is back.

Green had an otherwise rough game in his first action since rupturing a quadriceps tendon during the Oct. 23 game at Minnesota. He picked up a mere 18 yards on eight carries, but the numbers didn't matter too much to him.

"I feel good, definitely getting the rust knocked off, and that's all I wanted," Green said. "It's another step forward in getting ready for (the Sept. 10 opener against) Chicago."

Green's 8-yard run was part of a series in which he got the ball on four consecutive plays. The final carry was a 2-yard gain that converted a fourth-and-1 late in the first quarter.

Those were the only bright spots, though. He fumbled — and recovered — slipped once and looked unprepared when a pass was fired his way.

"If you've been out for 10 months or a year, you kind of lose the timing of how fast it is," said Green, who pointed out that reporters would get rusty, too, if they stopped writing for 10 months.

He also got a taste of what life could be like behind the Packers' young and struggling offensive line. After running around left end and out of bounds for a 4-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage, Green's other seven rushes, in order, covered 0, 0, 0, 8, 1, 2 and 3 yards. Seven of the eight carries came in the first quarter.

"I wanted to go out there and get banged around, get back into the flow of the game. It's all about getting my timing, getting through all the motions again," Green said.

Chances are, Green will see little, if any, action when the Packers host Tennessee in the preseason finale on Friday afternoon at Lambeau Field. That, of course, will be a decision made by coach Mike McCarthy, who liked what he saw from the four-time Pro Bowler on Monday.

"From a health standpoint, he seemed to look OK," McCarthy said. "He looked explosive."

McCarthy before the game said he wanted Green to participate in between 18 and 20 plays. Green was in on 19 plays — playing midway through the second quarter — rushing eight times and having two passes thrown his direction. On the second of those passes, Green motioned to the right and appeared to be the primary receiver. He wasn't prepared for the ball, and by the time he got his hands up, Brett Favre's laser whistled through his fingers. It was Green's last opportunity of the game.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

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